It will be a busy week for a parent at the PNC Championship this week. Petr Korda will play in the two-person event, formerly known as Father-Son, with his daughter, Nelly, the number 1 Rolex player in the world. But the father will double. The tennis Grand Slam champion will depart from Orlando’s Ritz Carlton Golf Club and drive 14 miles east on FL-417 to the United States Tennis Association National Campus to play a few volleys with his youngest son. Sebastian, who is currently ranked 41st in the world at 21 years old.
“This week I will mix golf and tennis,” Petr said as he and Nelly answered questions in the PNC.
Nelly was quick to joke: “As long as he shows up in one piece on Saturday, we’ll be fine.”
The duo will make a bit of tournament history when they hit the field this weekend. It will be the first time that the current world number 1 in the women’s field plays in the PNC Championship. Annika Sorenstam played with her father Tom, but that happened after Annika’s withdrawal from the LPGA Tour.
However, the Kordas are not here to focus on the story. They do enough with their amazing athletics every week. Nelly is number 1 in the world; his older sister Jessica, who got married last Saturday, ranks number 22 on the Rolex rankings. His mother, Regina, reached 26th place in the world in women’s tennis. And Sebi, after taking Petr to a few sets on Friday, will be his father’s caddy this week.
“We have been waiting for this event for a long time,” said Nelly. I’ve told my dad it’s my offseason. You are the star of the show. It is your time to shine. He’s going to be the one to drop the bombs.
“But I think we are very happy to be here together, and I hope we have good memories.”
Petr agreed with that assessment. “Playing with Nelly is creating some new memories,” he said. And it’s also a great honor, I think, for women’s golf to be at the same event with other players, other greats, from Mr. Nicklaus, Palmer, Trevino and other guys.
«I told Nelly, I am the tennis player. I feel like I don’t belong here. I will try to do my best, and I hope you will not be disappointed.
Not likely. Petr is still a natural athlete. He became fond of golf when he saw Ivan Lendl appear at ATP events with his golf clubs. Then, in 1996, Petr watched Tiger Woods win the US Amateur from Steve Scott, which remains one of the best finishes in the event’s history. I said, “Wow, that boy is pretty good,” said Petr. “It was then that I started paying attention to golf. And when I stopped (playing tennis), Jess took up golf again and so we’ve been around golf, obviously with the two girls. But I’m always off the ropes. This is going to be something special, and I’m looking forward to it.
He has not always been a casual spectator. When Nelly was younger, Petr would take her to play for $ 5. There was always something at stake. And for years, the father seemed to bring out the best in his little girl.
«When was the last game we played together? It was like, two years ago, ”Nelly said. «I only won as 1-up, and I did not give him any blow. Either he gets into my head or he starts playing when he puts the putt. But I would say that his touch is very good. Since he has played tennis, his touch is very good.
“I had a good test today,” Petr hastened to say. “Vijay Singh, on the 10th tee, came over and, you know, checked me out. And on the 18th, Dan Hicks, Roger Maltbie, Peter Jacobsen, (looked) so, I passed the test. And I hit fairways, a fairly long drive ».
But Petr knows that no one is going to see the PNC this week to see him. Those who aren’t tuning in for Charlie and Tiger Woods will stick around to see if Nelly’s game continues to rise.
“Both girls have a great love for the game and they are showing it quite well on the golf course,” said Petr. That’s something for me as a parent. You want to see that your daughter, whatever she does, brings that passion. And as we have said many times, my wife and I are very proud of them, whatever they do. ”